The World’s Best Leaders

“The leaders God chooses are often more broken than strong…more damaged than whole…more troubled than secure. God’s greatest leaders do not rise up from a bed of roses; they rise from beds of nails.” —Scott Sauls

Abraham, Moses, Jacob, Deborah, Gideon, Ehud, Joshua, David, Elijah, Peter, Paul, you.

There. Your excuses just evaporated.

Go give ’em Heaven.

—j

Changing of the Guard

“I don’t need a successor, only willing hands to accept the torch for a new generation. I am just one of many thousands called to be an evangelist.” —Billy Graham

Man of God, man of integrity, counselor to presidents, preacher to peasants, evangelist, prophet, servant of Jesus. He will be missed.

Now it’s your turn.

—j

Jerks for Jesus

“Jacob was a manipulator, Peter was impulsive, John had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Miriam was a gossip, Martha was a worrier, Thomas was a doubter, Sarah was impatient, Elijah was afraid, Jeremiah was depressed, Moses stuttered, Zacchaeus was short, Abraham was old, Lazarus was dead… God does not call the qualified—He qualifies the called.” —Unknown

What can’t God do through you today? It’s not about your qualifications, it’s about His—and He chose you. On Purpose.

Have a mighty day.

—j

Happy St. Crispin’s Day, Coach Lombardi

“I firmly believe that any man’s finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle—victorious.” —Coach Vince Lombardi

And that was just football. We each have a calling from God—it’s rarely easy and often painful, but it’s entirely fulfilling. In fact all other life-pursuits leave us wanting at day’s end. To say ‘yes, Lord’ (and mean it) guarantees a target on your back, great reward in Heaven and exhausting work on a battlefield in-between. And it’s all worth it—victory is coming—victory is there.

What is your calling? I think you know. If you’re engaged with it, you also know, because you have the scars to prove it. The Apostle Paul ran his race to the finish line—exhausted, scarred—and victorious. Us, too—hard, but victory is always worth it effort.

Today is St. Crispin’s Day. I’m fairly sure Shakespeare had none of this in mind when he penned the rousing St. Crispian’s Day speech in his play, Henry V—but it fits our calling as Christians. O, how it fits…

(About to engage the battle at Agincourt, Henry’s troops are exhausted and grossly outnumbered…)

Westmorland speaks:

“O that we now had here
But one ten thousand of those men in England
That do no work to-day!”

King Henry V:

“What’s he that wishes so?
My cousin Westmoreland? No, my fair cousin:
If we are mark’d to die, we are enow
To do our country loss; and if to live,
The fewer men, the greater share of honour.
God’s will! I pray thee, wish not one man more…
That he which hath no stomach to this fight,
Let him depart; his passport shall be made
And crowns for convoy put into his purse:
We would not die in that man’s company
That fears his fellowship to die with us.
This day is called the feast of Crispian:
He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
He that shall live this day, and see old age,
Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
And say ‘To-morrow is Saint Crispian:’
Then will he strip his sleeve and show his scars.
And say ‘These wounds I had on Crispin’s day.’
Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
But he’ll remember with advantages
What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
Familiar in his mouth as household words
Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
Be in their flowing cups freshly remember’d.
This story shall the good man teach his son;
And Crispin Crispian shall ne’er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remember’d;
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne’er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition:
And gentlemen in England now a-bed
Shall think themselves accursed they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin’s day!”

Henry V, Act 4, Scene 3

What Are We Supposed To Do?

“Many years ago I asked the Lord why He called me to ministry and He answered me very clearly. He said, “This is how you will worship Me, and bring Me glory...”Pastor Roger Ullman

What is your calling? Not sure? What do you love to do that benefits and blesses others? That’s a much easier question to answer. And that’s your calling, and it’s your spiritual gift—given to you to happily give away to others. It’s how we worship God, and it’s how we glorify Him in this messy world.

Give ’em heaven.

—j

Death by Cupcake

A.W. Tozer’s opening line caught me off guard. When the shock wore off, it began to make sense…

“Make sure that you don’t substitute prayer for obedience. Prayer is the oxygen of Christianity, but if we pray without preaching the gospel as we have been commanded to, we are drawing near to God with our lips, but our hearts are far from Him. Make sure you put legs to your prayers and reach out to those who are going to Hell.”

It seems that Bono of U2 agreed…

“Christians who prize “politeness” over candor may end up living a trivialized life. You’ve gotta be very careful that grace and politeness do not merge into a banality of behavior where we’re just nice—sort of ‘death by cupcake.’”

Pray to proclaim.

—j

Don’t Stop

“Keep about the work God has given you. Do not flinch because the lion roars; do not stop to stone the devil’s dogs; do not fool away your time chasing the devil’s rabbits. Do your work. Let liars lie, let corporations resolve, let the devil do his worst; but see to it that nothing hinders you from fulfilling the work that GOD has given you. He has not commanded you to get rich. He has never bidden you defended you character. He has not set you at work to contradict falsehood about yourself which Satan and his servants may start to peddle. If you do those things, you will do nothing else; you will be at work for yourself and not for the LORD. Keep at your work. Let your aim be as steady as a star. You may be assaulted, wronged, insulted, slandered, wounded and rejected of men. But see to it with steadfast determination, with unfaltering zeal, that you pursue the great purpose of your life and object of your being until at last you can say, “I have finished the work which Thou gavest me to do.” ­—Pastor Matt M. Hoekstra

Let’s go…

—j